Musculoskeletal pain is something that many of us deal with every now and then. Sometimes you step wrong and twist your ankle, or sleep in a strange position and get a crick in your neck. It happens. But if you have a chronic condition like knee arthritis due to an old injury or past surgery, then pain is a part of your daily life. At times, it can be debilitating. Fortunately, acupuncture can work wonders for people struggling with arthritis. But how does acupuncture for arthritis in knees help?
By reducing inflammation and enhancing circulation, acupuncture can help alleviate knee pain caused by arthritis. Over time, regular acupuncture treatments can improve your range of motion, improving your physical performance and allowing you to regain your strength.
Why is acupuncture good for treating arthritis in the knees?
Acupuncture is growing in popularity these days, and when you consider the long-term benefits, it’s not hard to see why. This non-invasive holistic therapy acts as a supportive measure, enhancing your body’s ability to heal itself without producing negative side effects.
When used to treat knee arthritis, acupuncture’s most helpful benefit is pain reduction. As each needle is inserted, this creates microscopic tears in the surrounding muscle fibers. This, in turn, sends a rush of blood to the area.
An increase in circulation is needed to assist the body’s healing response. Good circulation allows the body to clear out inflammatory byproducts, which reduces swelling. It also brings oxygenated red blood cells and other building blocks to the injured tissues, where the body needs them the most.
Acupuncture helps patients struggling with knee arthritis because it reduces inflammation. But it also helps by raising the pain threshold. Acupuncture has a reputation for being relaxing, and one of the major reasons is that it boosts serotonin activity and releases endorphins. These neurotransmitters make you feel good, increasing your body’s pain threshold naturally.
Acupuncture provides natural pain relief for knee arthritis patients
Arthritis is a painful condition, and if you struggle with it then you know that some days are worse than others. When your knee pain is at its peak, interfering with your day-to-day life, sometimes, all you want is relief. Over-the-counter medications, like acetaminophen, can help you cope with your symptoms for a little while.
In the long run, though, using pain meds to treat your knee arthritis can have negative consequences. Pain medications are notoriously damaging to the liver. When you take pain medications over a period of time, your body builds up a tolerance to them. Pretty soon, you need more and more pills to make the pain manageable.
Acupuncture provides knee arthritis patients with a natural alternative to these pain medications. Rather than mask the pain, acupuncture works with the body to reduce inflammation naturally and reprogram the way you perceive pain.
Arthritis patients have long relied on acupuncture to help control their pain levels and can help patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis alike. Furthermore, studies show that long-term acupuncture sessions improve physical function in patients with knee pain associated with arthritis.
How often will you need acupuncture to treat knee arthritis?
How often you will need acupuncture to treat your knee pain depends on the severity of your symptoms. If your knee arthritis only bothers you periodically, then you may only require treatments during flare-ups. But if your knee arthritis pain is constant, then a more aggressive treatment strategy may be advised.
Most patients notice a significant improvement in their pain after a single session. Acupuncture supports your body’s ability to heal from the very first session, and can have a profound impact on your pain levels in the days following treatment.
But, in general, regular sessions tend to be more effective — at least, to a point. We may recommend you receive a round of treatments. For instance, we may advise you to get biweekly acupuncture sessions for 6 to 8 weeks, then take a break. This way, your body doesn’t become desensitized to the treatment.
If you’ve recently suffered a knee injury or had knee surgery, using acupuncture as a part of your recovery program can help you manage pain and inflammation, potentially preventing you from developing knee arthritis in the future.
Is acupuncture alone enough to treat knee arthritis pain?
When a person comes into our clinic with musculoskeletal pain, whether it’s due to arthritis, tendonitis, muscle knots, or anything else, the first line of defense we have to offer is acupuncture. And many of our clients find that acupuncture alone is enough to treat their symptoms.
However, there are still some cases in which the effects of acupuncture can be dramatically enhanced when it’s used in combination with other therapies.
For some people, soft tissue mobilization is helpful. When we struggle with pain in one part of the body, that dysfunction can spread, leading to pain in other places. Soft tissue mobilization allows us to address widespread discomfort and keep it in check.
Other therapies that may prove to be beneficial include dry needling and orthopedic acupuncture. These therapies target inflammation and injured tissues specifically to reduce pain and increase strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
It can be difficult to determine which therapies will help you the most, and your needs may change as you begin acupuncture sessions. We’ll work with you to figure out which holistic therapies will provide you with the most benefit.
Make your first appointment today
During your first visit, we’ll ask you a little bit about your health history and listen to your goals, then we’ll work with you to come up with a treatment plan that allows you to meet them.
At Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture, we’ve treated patients from all walks of life. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you manage your knee arthritis symptoms so you can get the most out of life. Get in touch with our clinic and get started on your health journey today.